Rural Rajasthan eclipses communalism

December 26th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by ANI  

By Lokendra Singh
Kharkeri (Ajmer), Dec.26 (ANI): It is often said the real India lives in villages and so does the original beauty of secularism.
The fact is well evident in nearly a dozen and half villages in Ajmer region of Rajasthan where residents identifying themselves as part of the Cheetah community follow the tenets of Hinduism and the Islam with equal reverence.
It is heartening to notice the Cheetah community of Ajmer which looks wedded to communal amity. The society here is an example of different faiths including social traditions, living in harmony.
Since ages thousands of families in these villages have been celebrating Eid and Diwali with the same spirit. So much so, often it is very difficult for an outsider to differentiate member of Cheetah society by their lifestyle.
It is difficult for anyone to ascertain whether a family is Hindu or Muslim.
“Cheetah community believes in both the religions. We follow both Hinduism and Islam, our ancestors also use to follow both the religions,” said Kokka, a resident of Kharkeri village.
As far as their marriage rituals are concerned, this community does not mind solemnising the ties either with the formal seven circumambulations around the fire known as Saat Pheras or the Muslilm priest overseeing the Nikah.
“We follow in both the religions. We celebrate all the festivals be it Eid, Diwali or Holi. We follow both the religion with equal devotion,” said Reshmi, another resident of Kharkeri village.
“We feel really good, that we are following two religions. We can learn qualities from both the religions. We celebrate Holi, Diwali and Eid with equal zeal and zest,” said Ashok Kumar Cheetah, a resident.
Members of this community offer Namaz and perform Aarti at the same time. These people believe in the goodness of both Islam and Hinduism. There are about 300,000 members of Cheetah society residing in a dozen villages of Ajmer District. (ANI)

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